Many entrepreneurs surveyed referred to quality of life as an important asset for business strength in Montana. While the ways in which people described the source of quality of life varied, it was principally based around the outdoor and recreational opportunities, and proximity to great national parks. Beyond outdoor assets, entrepreneurs favored attractive downtowns, short commutes, good public schools, and family-friendly communities.

Quality of life was the reason many entrepreneurs moved to Montana to start a business. Multiple firms also mentioned that Montana is an attractive destination for clients to visit for training or business meetings.Work-life balance is important to Montanans.

Excellent workforce

The report found Montana entrepreneurs have been able to establish national and global reach by leveraging the high quality of workforce in the region. Company founders and managers repeatedly commented on the excellence of Montana employees. They also noted that Montana’s high quality of life contributed to high employee retention rates – a significant competitive advantage over tech ecosystems like Silicon Valley that have high turnover.A number of company founders expressed the common sentiment that Montana’s untamed landscape, and the type of people who are drawn to it, have shaped the state’s business culture and its inclination toward entrepreneurship.

Cost of living and taxes

The living cost in Montana is 6.29% lower than the rest of the country. This is because many energy resources like coal, oil, gas and water are readily available in the state. Montana also benefits from the lowest taxation levels. Here property taxes are very low, and this makes owning vehicles and houses very affordable. Though the average household income is quite low at $36,000, is sufficient for paying very few taxes and commuting for an average time of 18 minutes.

Montana has comparatively low taxes on the residential real estate. The effective property tax of Montana is 0.87% lower than the national average of 1.19%.  Montana has low tax rates because the governing body is structured in such a way that the burden on homeowners of Montana is reduced.

Owner occupied residences are eligible for exemptions up to 47% which is way higher compared to the exemptions given to businesses and industries.  The property appraisal is carried out every six years in Montana. This lag makes the changes in tax gradual and not very sudden.

The tax rates of Montana are usually determined by its cities, counties and school districts. After all the processes and calculations, you will only have to pay 2.47% of the taxable market value.

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